This is a huge topic. It is not possible to cover every situation that can occur, but we can provide you with some time proven and solid guidelines. We are going to assume that
you know nothing and have never been to a biking event before. The events we will be talking about on this page are not rallies. Even though much of the guidelines we will mention
also apply to rallies, we will concentrate on an "in house" event hosted by a club at their club house.
Usually such events are "open" events that are publicly advertised by the hosting club, so no specific personal invitation is required. An "open"
event is just that - open to all bikers. Whether you go as an individual or with your club is immaterial and the guidelines listed below apply in all cases.
In a nutshell, the two main aspects to bear in mind and adhere to are protocol and respect, However there is also another very
important consideration. Ask yourself why you are there and what message you are delivering whilst you are there. Try to see yourself
and your actions as an onlooker. Would you be happy with what you see? Catch the point?
Ok, so you are a rough and tough biker and you are going to do this jol - and you are going to paint the place red and make certain you are seen and taken note of.
You must "live up to the biker image" and make sure you "put your stamp" on things. Hold on! You had better read the guidelines below, because if this
is your perception of how it is then you have much to learn.
How you arrive
If at all possible you should arrive on your bike as opposed to a cage. Were you "tanked up"? Did you rev the crap out of your bike outside
before turning it off? Hey dude, that's not how it's done. That is showing disrespect to the host club. They see you and they take
note - and this is not good for you or your club. First impressions are lasting and bikers have long memories. It's difficult to fix a mistake
in the biking world. Respect the fact that you are a guest in their domain and behave accordingly.
Greeting the host
Protocol counts. How do you answer the telephone? You say "hello". This is protocol. Same at a biking event. You say "hello". Now you don't just
barge in and start shaking everybody's hand and slap them on the back, even if you know them all. Start your greetings with the host President
(or the highest ranking club official present) then work your way down the rank ladder. The more serious the host club, the more important this
becomes. This is the right way. If you don't know the guys then seek out the Sgt At Arms (or another club officer), respectfully introduce
yourself, then ask him/her to introduce you to the guys that count. One thing we can promise you - if you follow these greeting guidelines
you'll earn good respect points from your host.
When you are in
These are some of the more important things to bear in mind:
If you are a club member wearing your cuts, remember at all times that you are primarily representing your club in everything you say or do.
You must understand that the host club are extremely proud of their club house, so don't go making remarks about it that could spark something.
Sure, you are probably going to use alcohol there. However, if you go past that "point of no return" there will probably be a price to
pay, You can let real loose when you amongst trusted Brothers, but otherwise you need to have your wits about you at all times. This is good advice, so read it
carefully. You'll want to know who you are talking to, what you are talking about, and most important of all you want to recall what you spoke about the next morning.
If someone buys you a drink, be polite and say thank you. Drink it and enjoy it, That's why you are there. Have a good time. If you want
to buy someone a drink then ask before doing this. It's simple - we do it every day.
Whether talking to the host or any other guest, avoid topics that don't concern you, i.e. probing into their club matters. That has
nothing to do with you, Also, avoid hot topics. These are bound to create animosity and controversy and may even lead to heated arguments.
Do not discuss any of your club's private matters. This is a golden rule and is always cast in stone. For example, do not brag
about how large the local or national membership is. Stuff like that.
If you want to take a photo then ask permission. Don't just take one. That is disrespectful in many ways.
Don't wonder through the club house without permission. If you show interest and a member offers a guided tour then take it by all
means. Keep in mind that these club houses don't only cater for refreshments, but most have some sort of private and very secure accommodation facility.
It should go without saying - stay away from the Old Ladies. Talk to them only if and when you have been invited to do so.
Keep an open mind. These are adult parties. Expect to come into contact with facets you don't normally encounter. If you have a
principle issue with this then rather stay at home.
If you have a guest or some of your club members with you, take responsibility for them, Make sure they know and adhere to the
protocols, Also, keep your eyes open and if any are behaving in a disrespectful way, step in before things get out of hand. It's your
responsibility to sort it out. Keep in mind that some events are also attended by international visitors, so you not only only representing
yourself and your club, but also South African bikers as a whole.
When joining a group in discussion, do so respectfully. Do not barge in loudly and interrupt the discussion. Stand quietly and wait
to be invited into the group. If you don't know some of the guys in the group, introduce yourself before making your point.
The term Brother or Bro has special meaning in our clubbing world. Our advice is not to throw it around randomly, especially on guys you
have just met or don't know well. They are not your brothers because you have not yet earned the right to call them that.
Do we have to tell you not to start a fight, or get involved in a fight?
How you depart
How do we say goodbye on the telephone? You say "goodbye". This is protocol. Same at this biking event. You say "goodbye" before you leave.
You don't sneak away. Departing is similar to arrival in many ways. You need to thank the host, even if it was a crappy jol.
Once again, start with the highest ranking club officer and work down the rank ladder. Once you have done this you can greet the rest of the company and leave.
Basically, the stuff we have stated on this page counts at any event, no matter whether it's public or biking. Nothing
weird or sissy like about being a proud patch of a respected motorcycle club proving to all and sundry that he is worth his patch and honours his
club and his brothers and sisters. That's the kind of person we'd want in our club.